“Interesting.” Holmes closed the notebook in his hand. “It appears Mark Cohen had indeed come into conflict with those prostitutes. So, he led himself to the role of Jack the Ripper, all for the sake of seeking pleasure. However, he didn’t expect that the deeper he got into the role, the more he lost parts of himself.”
“These things were clearly recorded in his notes. He began to imagine that he was the murderer after the first killing was reported. By the time he saw the letter in the newspaper, his soul and mind had completely been devoured by Jack the Ripper, and in the end, he couldn’t even tell who he was anymore.” At the same time, Zhang Heng had already walked out of the cell. He then loosened his hands and ankles. “And as for the uterus that you retrieved from his residence, give it a once over, and you will find that it does not belong to a human. When the first victim was killed, he had the perfect alibi of delivering a baby girl that night. Once you locate the girl named Clarissa, you will know I speak the truth.”
Holmes chewed on the pipe in his mouth, pondering thoughtfully over something.
Just then, Lestrade rushed over from the other side of the corridor. “I contacted several newspapers. The director wants to promote this case! He wants to commend the police force and you as well. After all, you are Scotland Yard’s special consultant. This time, you’ve helped us solve this strange case…”
“Wait,” Holmes reached out and interrupted Lestrade. “We haven’t caught the murderer yet. So let’s forget about celebrating. It will only serve to inflate the murderer’s ego.”
“What are you talking about?” Lestrade was confused. “The suspect has just pleaded guilty, and he even described how he killed the victims!”
“He got the idea from the newspaper report. The uterus on the table was taken from a pig,” Holmes explained. “Lestrade, I always thought you are the best and brightest Scotland Yard had to offer. If you are willing to spend more time collecting clues instead of boasting your merits, you would surely achieve more than what you have right now.”
Lestrade shook his head when he heard those words. “I have been at Scotland Yard for so many years, and no matter what case it is, we usually close it once somebody steps up and confesses to his crimes. I think you are just overthinking. Anyway, the reporters should be there in half an hour. The director is going to see the queen early tomorrow morning to report the good news. He will also mention you and your eastern friend’s contributions.”
“Have you so quickly forgotten the Thames case? Planning to cooperate with the media to fish out the real murderer? By then, I don’t think the public will cooperate with you,” Holmes went on, shaking his head in discouragement. “It’s the director’s decision. I can’t change it no matter what you say,” said Lestrade said. “Unless you can arrest the real murderer right now…”
Zhang Heng suddenly asked, “Can I meet Mark Cohen?”
“You want to see him? That’s not how the rules work, but in light of your contribution to the police, I believe we can make an exception,” Lestrade said.
Lestrade then brought the two to the interrogation room where the doctor was held.
“I’ve tried questioning him once; hence I won’t be going in this time. Besides, I have to deal with the reporters.”
As Lestrade left, Holmes rubbed his chin. “Do you think Mark Cohen losing his mind wasn’t an accident?”
Zhang Heng nodded, “Judging by his notes, I can see that he did have a mental illness, but I don’t think that it was an accident that his mental health suddenly deteriorated during this period. The police were looking for Jack the Ripper, and he so just happened to come to us and confess his crimes?”
“Interesting guess,” Holmes said.
Zhang Heng noticed that Holmes used the word guess rather than inference. Even Zhang Heng had to admit that after two previous cases that they solved, he realized it would be impossible to beat Sherlock if he only used what he gave him.
Under the deductive framework, it wasn’t possible that his Lv.1 deduction skill would beat Holmes’s which was at Lv.3. Even if he tried hard, the best he could do was to achieve a draw. He sorely needed to find another way to win this bet and to accomplish that, he would need to bolster his deduction skill greatly. In the absence of evidence, he needed to be able to make bold assumptions. Sherlock Holmes once said that guessing was a big taboo for a detective, and the moment they headed in the wrong direction, it was highly likely they would end up stuck in a dead-end. Zhang Heng’s situation was different now, though, where he only needed to win once. As long as he made the right bet, he would be able to complete the game.
Besides, he wasn’t about to make any blind guesses. He saw Mark Cohen sitting in the interrogation room, looking very calm and composed. He did indeed possess the temperament of a doctor, save for a set of small and protruding eyes.
Zhang Heng sat down opposite him.
“Were the three Whitechapel area murders related to you?” “Yes, I killed them,” Mark Cohen nodded and admitted without hesitation, flashing with it, a crazed smile across his face. “I like the way they looked at me when they died. Fear in its purest form. It’s… beautiful!” “Really?” asked Zhang Heng. “Don’t worry. God will punish you.” The doctor shifted uncomfortably, looking slightly annoyed.
“God will punish me? No, no, I’m just doing the right thing! It is the women who are wrong. God instructed me to punish them. They deserved every bit of it because of their sins! I’m simply obeying His command. His voice… they are always in my ears.”
“Have you heard the voice of God?”
“Yes! He said he would reward me and call me his son,” Mark Cohen proudly declared.
“Last question.” Zhang Heng stared into the doctor’s eyes.
“Which church do you usually attend?”
Mark Cohen’s mouth instantly snapped shut the moment he heard the question. His eyes then rolled toward the ceiling as if a doorway to heaven was about to open and he would slowly ascend.
Despite all the showbiz, his actions had already given Zhang Heng the answer he wanted. Zhang Heng got up and left the interrogation room. Holmes listened to their conversation, and not a word escaped his mouth. He did not speak until Zhang Heng walked out of the interrogation room.
“Interesting, so, you suspect Father Jacob brainwashed him?”
Zhang Heng nodded. Instead of answering Holmes’s question, he hurriedly walked out of the police station, flagging down a carriage. Holmes got in with him. “Even if you suspect that he’s the serial killer, there’s no need to leave in such a hurry. I wasn’t done with my questions. There are only two priests in the Church of the Sacred Heart. Father Matthew is too old, and I am certain that Father Jacob is not the murderer. So, the question is, why would he make Mark Cohen, a mentally deranged man, believe he is Jack the Ripper?” “I’m sure the real murderer must be related to him,” replied Zhang Heng. “As for why I am in such a hurry, it is because I am worried about the safety of a friend.”